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Vrije Universiteit Brussel

VUB – Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Vrije Universiteit Brussel: an internationally-oriented urban-engaged university in the capital city of Europe, with more than 16,000 students and more than 3,500 staff, founding partner of the Eutopia European University alliance.

The Research Group of Industrial Microbiology and Food Biotechnology (IMDO) consists of Prof. Dr. ir. Luc De Vuyst, Prof. Dr. ir. Frédéric Leroy, Prof. Dr. Stefan Weckx, Prof. Dr. Bruno Pot, and Prof. Dr. ir. Friedrich Heinrich. The team includes two post-doctoral researchers, 21 PhD students, and three MSc students. The research deals with the qualitative and quantitative study of the microbial species diversity, community dynamics, and meta-metabolomics of spontaneous fermented food productions, aiming to unravel why certain microorganisms prevail in certain ecosystems and how their competitiveness and functionality in these ecosystems can be explained at a biochemical and molecular level.

Role in Healthferm

The research group IMDO participates in work package 1 and 2. In work package 1, IMDO is a local hub for sourdough sample collection within a community science approach. IMDO supports the functional screening of beneficial strains, and performs genome sequencing and functional annotation of all bacteria of interest within the work package. Some of those promising bacteria are further investigated using a systems biology approach. In work package 2, IMDO works closely together with the Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Biochemistry of KU Leuven, more precisely to follow-up the microbial ecosystems during wheat and oat fermentations.

Team members

Photo of Prof. Dr Ir. Luc De Vuyst
Prof. Dr Ir. Luc De Vuyst
Full Professor
Photo of Prof. Dr Stefan Weckx
Prof. Dr Stefan Weckx
Associate Professor
Photo of Thomas Gettemans
Thomas Gettemans
PhD Researcher
Photo of Gabriela Samaniego​
Gabriela Samaniego​
PhD Researcher